Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.
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ST. PAUL - Minnesota politicians want guarantees that any federal money spent to bail out a troubled automobile industry be used wisely. For U.S. Sen. Norm Colman, R-Minn., the key is that whatever money is given to the industry, automakers must be accountable. "I have a strong concern that any support we give the auto industry must have strong, fiscal controls and accountability," Coleman said. "The taxpayers of my state will insist on it, and I will demand it." Coleman and Minnesota Gov.
ST. PAUL - A state elections board today approved the beginning of a statewide U.S. Senate recount, but delayed the most controversial item on the table - whether hundreds of disputed absentee ballots would be counted. "We need more time to think," said Mark Ritchie, Canvassing Board chairman and secretary of state. The board recessed for an undecided period of time to consider whether it can even deal with the absentee issue.
ST. PAUL -- Al Franken's campaign needs a new story to establish the need for a lawsuit it filed Thursday. The Minnesota U.S. Senate campaign filed suit in Ramsey County District Court demanding a list of all voters whose absentee ballots were rejected in last week's election. If Franken wins that ruling, his campaign officials said, other counties should follow. The action is an effort to find votes in Franken's challenge to sitting U.S. Sen.
ST. PAUL -- Two Supreme Court justices appointed by Republican Gov Tim Pawlenty, two District Court judges and the Democratic secretary of state comprise a board that could decide who becomes Minnesota's next U.S. senator. Secretary of State Mark Ritchie announced on Wednesday who will be on the state Canvassing Board, which will decide who many Minnesota voters intended to support for the Senate. Republican U.S. Sen.
ST. PAUL -- Lower taxes for businesses that add jobs in renewable energy industries is a key part of Gov. Tim Pawlenty's 2009 economic plan. As he was beginning a statewide tour announcing his $86 million "Green Jobs Investment Initiative," Pawlenty told reporters in a Capitol news conference Monday that he does not know how many jobs his plan would create. However, he said it would be a significant number and state officials predicted more than 114,000 Minnesotans will hold such jobs in the next 30 years.
ST. PAUL -- Republican Sen. Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken agree ballots need to be preserved for a statewide recount in their U.S. Senate race, but their campaigns struggled to work out details. As their race narrowed to a 206-vote margin late Monday afternoon, out of nearly 2.9 million votes cast, the campaigns discussed how to keep ballots secure. That is important because every one of those ballots will be examined by elections officials during a statewide recount beginning next week. The thin margin mandates a recount, which likely will last past mid-December.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota should spend $86 million in the next five years to expand green jobs across the state, Gov. Tim Pawlenty said this morning. As he was beginning a statewide tour announcing his "Green Jobs Investment Initiative," Pawlenty told reporters in a Capitol news conference that he does not know how many jobs his plan would create. However, he predicted it would be a significant number and state officials predicted more than 114,000 millions will hold such jobs in the next 30 years - not necessarily all credited to the program Pawlenty just announced.
ST. PAUL -- Barack Obama may have won the big race of the day, but Tuesday's Minnesota votes gave Republicans a reason to smile, too. For instance, Republicans kept Democrats from obtaining a veto-proof majority in the state House. The GOP's Michele Bachmann rallied to retain her U.S. House seat after hinting on national television that Obama may be anti-American. And amid a strong national Democratic showing, Republican U.S. Sen.
ST. PAUL -- U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman declared victory Wednesday. Challenger Al Franken said a recount would show who Minnesotans really want in the Senate. And Minnesotans who endured a lengthy U.S. Senate race now could be forced to wait into December, or longer, to see who actually won. Republican Coleman collected 465 more votes than Democrat Al Franken, unofficial secretary of state returns show.
ST. PAUL -- Democrats hoped to build a veto-proof Minnesota House Tuesday, so legislators could go over Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty's head. But after returns began coming in, Republicans were optimistic they could pick up some seats and stop that DFL supermajority talk. House Republican leader Marty Seifert of Marshall said in a night when Democrats were doing well across the country, he saw good GOP news with some legislative wins. House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, DFL-Minneapolis, said she expected it to be today before Minnesotans knew the breakdown of the House.